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Europe-China initiative marks World Environment Day by inaugurating multiple pilot resilience projects in Zhuhai city in southern China’s Guangdong province. The effort represents EC-Link’s ongoing initiative to build an EU-CHINA platform on resilient city development.
The pilot projects are designed to help Zhuhai city, one of EC Link’s pilot cities, better understand the challenges it faces in urban resilience development, review its ability to face them and unite its people, projects, and priorities, and thus reduce vulnerabilities to expected and unexpected impacts of climate change.
With a coastline stretching 690km and subject to tropical hurricanes during summer, the city is exposed to high risks of extreme weather conditions, including typhoons, heavy rainstorms and floods. The projects in Zhuhai for building a resilient city will act as a template to provide local experiences and good models of urban resilience for larger-scale or nation-wide practice.
China has seen an increasing number of cities with inadequate flood-control measures during its fast-urban sprawl. On average, around 200 cities are faced with the problem of waterlogging caused by rain or storms every year while many of the cities affected by flooding are desperately short of water.
EC-Link Project invited to Zhuhai, experts from the Netherlands and Italy, bringing best urban resilience experiences from Europe. Principles and processes of a resilient city’s construction and excellent examples of resilience development in European cities have been introduced to Zhuhai's Urban Planning and Technical Standard & Guidelines, laying the foundation for Zhuhai resilient city's development.
EC-Link experts also gave significant inputs to Zhuhai urban planning strategies in terms of management and protection of historical heritage. EC-Link contribution further enriches Zhuhai Urban Construction Archives (ZUCA) that, since 1983, constitutes the most important source of documentation for city’s urban planning, construction and management.
At the neighborhood level, a few micro plots and public seminars were held in a few of neighborhoods, encouraging public participation to realize the resilient city concept. Experts are to conduct a preliminary study for the city’s coastal areas -lover’s road. They will focus on creating a level and flood defense typology specific for the broader Zhuhai area by mapping the developing or transforming areas.
Both European and Chinese sides agree to strengthen cooperation to help Chinese cities learn from European models, concepts and technologies of urban resilience.
The EC-Link project is a key component of the EU-China Partnership on Sustainable Urbanization, signed by the Chinese government and European Commission in May 2012. The initiative launched in November 2013 with the aim of assisting Chinese cities in implementing energy and resource-efficient measures by sharing experiences in sustainable urbanization with cities in Europe.